Jesus, Psalm 22:1, and the Cross

February 4, 2017

Early Christians in the second century understood the cry dereliction as Jesus’s feelings of despair in the face of death in view of the fact that the Father had abandoned (forsaken) him to death. The Father did not rescue him from death, even though ultimately God rescues him through death when the Father raises Jesus […]


Tolbert Fanning–Advocate for Peace in 1861 (Part VII)

March 27, 2012

With Tennessee now a Confederate state and at war with the Union, Fanning published an article entitled “Taking up the Cross,” in the August issue of the Gospel Advocate 7.8 (1861), 244-245. What did it mean to “take up the cross” in August 1861 for Tennesseans, Confederates or Unionists? On the one hand, it meant abandoning […]


Tolbert Fanning–Advocate for Peace in1861 (Part V)

March 24, 2012

Though the overwhelming sentiment of western and middle Tennessee favored the decision of the state government to join the Confederacy and enter the war against the Union on July 2, 1861, Fanning pleads for Christians to stand apart in three lengthy and significant articles in the July issue of the Gospel Advocate. His theology for […]


Mark 8:27-9:1 — Confession, Cross and Crown

February 6, 2012

This text is the hinge on which Mark’s Gospel swings. Previous to this text Mark narrates the kingdom ministry of Jesus as Jesus heralds its coming and enacts its reality through healing, compassion and feedings. Subsequent to this text Mark narrates the passion of Jesus and the events that lead up to his death. In the first half of […]


Handel’s Messiah: A Missional Reading III (What is the Hallelujah Chorus about?)

December 22, 2011

Part II begins with the passion of Jesus through his resurrection to his exaltation as reigning Lord. At the end of this section is a missional proclamation:  Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Handel weaves together texts from John, Isaiah, Psalms, Lamentations, Romans and Revelation to tell this story. He uses the […]


Jesus as “Son of Man” in the Gospel of John

July 28, 2009

The “Son of Man” is Jesus’ own self-description—he uses the title twelve times in the Gospel of John (1:51; 3:13, 14; 5:27; 6:27, 53, 62; 8:28; 9:35; 12:23; 13:31; in 12:34 his language is quoted back to him). It ranks second behind “Son” (in the sense of Son of God) as Jesus’ favorite self-description in […]


Evangelical Crucicentrism: A Post-Easter Reflection

April 12, 2009

David Bebbington, Evangelicalism in Modern Britain (1989), 3, identifies biblicism (sola scriptura), conversionism (“born again”), activism (missions, historic social engagement such as abolition, temperance, abortion, etc.) and crucicentrism as marks of historic British Evangelicalism. Each of these resonates with me as an important dimension of American Evangelicalism and, more particularly, as part of the story of Churches […]